Oil sands

The boom, the bust, the darkness: suicide rate soars in wake of Canada’s oil crisis

Jesse Seibel of Whitecourt, Alberta, used to wake up every day at 3am, fully rested and ready to work. Having laboured in the northern oil patch since his teens, just like his father, the tattooed and pierced wireliner had grown oddly appreciative of the work’s long hours and hard labour.

At 26, Seibel, who never finished high school, was earning as much as $5,000 a month threading electrical cables into reservoirs, enough to live comfortably and never miss paying rent and child support.


It’s like an early Christmas present for the likes of Justin, Notley and Wynne.

  • AmicusC

    feel bad for people that can see no way out but that story is not the way to do it bunch of people living well beyond their means.

  • DMB

    The guy earned $5,000 a month and within a few months of losing his job he was homeless! Where did all the money go to drugs? Was moving to Saskatchewan more difficult then killing one self!

    • Exile1981

      At 5K a month he looses 42% to taxes off the top, so that’s 2100 gone. Then he pays likely 500 a month in support plus 500 in alimony and a 1000 in rent in Edmonton. Utilities would be 300ish.

      That leaves under 600 for food, vehicle expenses and savings

      • DMB

        Ouch! Noetly will make it even more unaffordable it live in Alberta.

        • Exile1981

          5 cents a liter new gas tax

  • HalcyonDaze

    All these studies about Alberta’s suicide rate being due to falling oil prices fail to mention the fact that most of the patch workers weren’t native Albertans and have likely taken their mental health issues with them back to their non Albertan home towns and Provinces.